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Is This the Trey Songz Reckoning?

Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images

On December 31, 2021, WNBA player Dylan Gonzalez tweeted, “Trey Songz is a rapist. Lord forgive me I Couldn’t hold that in another year. See you in 2022.”

In the same vein as R. Kelly, R&B singer and rapper Songz is known for putting out songs that prop him up as some kind of inexorable sex god, as in “I Invented Sex” and “Neighbors Know My Name.” While Gonzalez’s accusation didn’t offer details or a personal account, it sparked waves of support and outrage on Twitter, drawing attention to Songz’s long history of sexual-assault allegations and the ways in which women who have come forward to share their stories — including Keke Palmer — were ignored.

The laundry list of Songz’s alleged abuse spans multiple years, lawsuits, and charges. At a strip club in 2012, Songz allegedly struck a woman, Donna McIntosh-Inoe, in the face with a wad of cash, leaving her with a black eye. Songz was arrested, and the case was settled out of court. A few years later, in 2016, Songz pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts for punching a Detroit police sergeant after a concert and throwing a microphone that injured a cameraman. Songz was sentenced to 18 months of probation and was required to attend anger-management classes. Later, the officer and cameraman filed a lawsuit against Songz, citing injuries from the assault. (The case is ongoing.)

In 2017, Palmer accused Songz, with whom she had been friendly for some years, of using sexual intimidation to persuade her to appear in a music video that she didn’t want to be in. (He proceeded to use a recorded clip of Palmer in his “Pick Up the Phone” music video without her consent.) At the time, Palmer described being so afraid of Songz that she hid in a closet to get away from him. Songz denied her allegations. “Babygirl buggin,” he wrote.

One year later, Songz was arrested at his L.A. home for felony domestic violence against a woman named Andrea Buera. She alleged that Songz choked her, punched her in the face, and knocked her down, and she expressed hopes that Songz would get help for his violent tendencies. “Although I am not your first victim,” she said in a press conference, “I’d like to be your last.” On Twitter, Songz denied Buera’s account, saying he’d been “lied on and falsely accused for someone’s personal gain.” Los Angeles city and district officials declined to pursue the case after Songz’s legal team supplied witness statements and information to the LAPD that apparently contradicted Buera’s account, according to TMZ sources. The case was dropped, and Buera withdrew the complaint she had filed.

That same year, a woman named Jahuara Jeffries accused Songz of attempting to penetrate her vagina with his fingers without her consent at a Miami nightclub. Jeffries — who originally filed her suit as a Jane Doe — claimed another woman at the club confided in her, saying Songz acted similarly with her: sliding a hand down her pants and groping her buttocks without her consent. The following year, Songz was sued for punching a bartender at a Cardi B concert.

In a 2018 interview on “The Breakfast Club,” Palmer discussed the repeated allegations against Songz and how race plays into the weight each accuser is given — or, rather, not given:

“If I say something, I’m saying something for a reason … And I feel like so many times, Black women say stuff and nobody gives a shit — excuse my language. Nobody gives a fuck when sometimes Black women say something. But somebody of another complexion, somebody of another color, they say something and then it’s like, ‘We’re taking it to court! It’s time to get serious #MeToo.’”

Despite the mounting accusations, Palmer’s allegations were still largely ignored by the public until a white Instagram model, Celina Powell, and her friend Aliza went on a podcast in 2020 and accused Songz of taking their phones and refusing to let them leave his house. Powell alleged that Songz coerced her into doing “some things” and threw her phone off the balcony. Aliza alleged that Songz urinated on her without her consent. Powell and Aliza didn’t specify when the alleged incidents took place. Songz denied both women’s accounts.

In 2021, Songz settled his $10 million lawsuit with Jeffries out of court. In January of that year, he reportedly punched a police officer at a Kansas City Chiefs game, leading to yet another arrest. No criminal charges were filed after that altercation owing to “insufficient evidence.” In November, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department launched an investigation into Songz over an alleged incident of sexual assault at the Cosmopolitan hotel. (Las Vegas police dropped the investigation in April 2022 without pursuing charges, but said the investigation could be reopened with new evidence).

“It’s the same with him, story after story,” said McIntosh-Inoe in a recent interview with the Daily Beast. “The women get knocked down — he’s not being held accountable at all.” In a statement to TMZ, the legal team for Songz denied any allegations of assault, saying, “Trey and his team are confident in the legal process and that there will be an abundance of exonerating information to come over the next few weeks.”

In a new statement, shared to Instagram on January 11, Gonzalez shared her support for fellow alleged victims. “With what seems like endlessly reoccurring news of the alleged sexual assaults committed by Trey Songz, I am forced to repeatedly relive in my mind, and suffer anew, the long-suppressed horror and unbearable PTSD of my rape by his very hands at a well-known Las Vegas hotel,” she wrote, also encouraging other victims to step forward. “Suppression of our voices only emboldens our oppressors, and you cannot heal what you do not reveal.” She asked for “privacy, consideration and compassion” as she works to pursue the best course of legal action, adding that she has hired attorney George Vrabeck. We reached out to Gonzalez for comment.

On February 15, an anonymous woman filed a civil lawsuit against Songz, accusing him of anally raping her at a house party in Los Angeles in 2016. According to the suit, the woman had a consensual relationship with Songz until the party, where he allegedly invited her upstairs to his bedroom and pressured her into anal sex. The suit says the woman repeatedly refused Songz’s requests and asked him to stop asking her, at which point Songz turned into a “savage rapist,” pinning the woman to the ground, ripping off her pants, and anally raping her despite her screams and pleas for him to stop. Following the alleged incident, the suit says the woman received a sexual-assault exam where examiners concluded she suffered severe anal tearing. The woman is currently seeking $20 million in damages.

Representatives for Songz have denied these allegations on his behalf. They are also apparently in the midst of trying to dismiss Jeffries’s lawsuit, alleging that one of her lawyers, Ariel Mitchell, has been tampering with the case by bribing witnesses.

Mitchell told TMZ, “I unequivocally denounce the allegations pled in Defendant Songz’s motion which is a desperate attempt to shift the narrative from his abhorrent and egregious behavior.”

On Thursday — nearly two weeks after Songz’s Vegas investigation was dropped — a new accuser, Megan Johnson, came forward with allegations that Songz sexually assaulted her at a party in Connecticut in 2013. According to a demand letter from Johnson’s attorneys, who also represent Jahuara Jeffries and three more of Songz’s accusers, Johnson was in the VIP tent when Songz allegedly came up behind her, pulled her breast out of her bikini top without her consent, and chanted, “Titties in the open.” Attorneys for Johnson also supplied video footage of the incident, which has been obtained by TMZ, and claim Johnson suffered “severe emotional distress” in the aftermath, including engaging in self-harm. “One woman may have been mistaken, but is unlikely the 12+ women that have made complaints against you, including our four clients, were mistaken,” reads the letter, which demands a $5 million settlement from Songz. “Ms. Johnson is certainly not mistaken.”

We’ve reached out to Songz’s representatives for comment.

This post has been updated.

Is This the Trey Songz Reckoning?